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Kotipelto – Serenity

Label: Candlelight Records
Format: CD
Released: 2007
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

In contrast to the title of his previous solo album "Coldness", Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto seems to be in a better place with this third effort "Serenity". Now "Coldness" I really enjoyed, it was a stronger collection of songs from his first solo outing and definitely showed songwriting growth with plenty of good tunes. I also think Timo does a great job making the transition between the power metal of Stratovarius to his more straight ahead hard rock sounding solo work. But do take into consideration at the time of release for “Coldness”, the Finnish vocalist was at a cross roads as he, temporarily, was no longer Stratovarius’ frontman and the band itself was in dire times with guitarist Timo Tollki’s health problems a major issue putting their future in question. Thankfully Strato reformed in 05 and forged ahead with Timo back behind the mic and the music heard on "Serenity" appears to reflect his return to more stable territory.


Starting off with the Strato spirited 'Once Upon a Time' followed by mid tempo rockers, first single 'Sleep Well', and the title track, Timo chooses to write more rock radio ready tunes for his solo work. He does a good job. 'City of Mysteries' contains a strong melodic chorus accented by complimenting guitar work and keyboards.

As a vocalist, Timo sings at a slightly lower range as opposed to the usual higher fair for Stratovarius (something that is very much characteristic of the genre). He does have a very smooth tone and recognizeable pitch. 'Angels will Cry' contains both the Euro metal up beat arrangement with dual guitar and keyboard leads. The 80’s style power ballad (pick any of the following Poison, Warrant, Great White, Winger, etc) comes to life in 'After the Rain'. After almost twenty years, Timo and his Strato mates earned a considerable amount of respect for their brand of melodic Euro Power Metal, and rightfully so. At this point Timo’s solo work has served as a good outlet for the Finnish singer and his talents as a songwriter showing growth gaining strength. Maybe it would be beneficial for him to become a little more active part to the Stratovarius writing team. I think it would be great.

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